Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Wilbur L. Bunch


Wilbur L. Bunch

Wilbur L. Bunch was born on April 24, 1925 in Pine Bluffs. He died at home on June 5 2015, at the age of 90. His parents were Bradley K. and Elvira Carlstrum Bunch.

He attended school in Pine Bluffs, graduating in 1943, at which time he was drafted to serve in the Army Signal Corps during World War II until 1946. After completing service, he entered the University of Wyoming where he obtained a BS (1949) and MS (1951) degrees in physics and mathematics.

Wilbur met Margaret May in the summer of 1946 while playing in the county band, and they were married in Pine Bluffs on Dec. 29, 1946. They had five children, Larry (JoAnn) of Richland; Jerry of Jacksonville, Fl.; Jim (Sandi) of Moses Lake; Janice (Tony Maki) of Gold Canyon, Az.; and Judy (Rob Knox) of West Richland. These families provided them with 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Upon graduation in 1951, Wilbur was hired to work at the Hanford Site by the General Electric Company, and subsequently by Battelle Northwest and Westinghouse Hanford. He retired in 1988 but continued to consult until 1995. He did experimental shielding research, instrument development, and design of shields for reactors and hot cells, and received a number of patents for his work. He subsequently became the technical manager for shielding design of the Fast Flux Test Facility. In this position he traveled extensively throughout the U.S., and was a member of technical exchange groups to England, France, Russia and Japan.

He was a member of the American Nuclear Society, serving a term as chairman of the Radiation Protection and Shielding Division. He was Technical Program chairman for a national meeting of the division, as well as serving on a number of other committees.

He was the sixth person in fifty years to receive the Rockwell award, the highest award given by the division.

Wilbur L. Bunch

Wilbur and Margaret enjoyed cruises to Alaska, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Mexican Riviera, and around South America. Their most memorable cruise was down the Amazon River, across the Atlantic to several islands, three countries in Africa, Gibraltar, and Portugal. Their last trip was by air to Australia and Fiji, which completed their visits to all the continents except Antarctica.

Wilbur enjoyed working with his children, coaching Little League baseball and Church league basketball, and serving as Cub scoutmaster and Pack chairman. He later enjoyed watching his grandchildren playing basketball, football, baseball, tennis, volleyball, soccer and track. He played league volleyball, but gave it up at the age of 70.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 66 years, Margaret; his sister, Betty McNamee; and brother, Charles.


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